Question: Well where to begin…….I am a 39 year old woman, with kids, and married – I believe I am rational, clever, happy with life, but in the sleeping hours I am left feeling like a frigging nut job.
Since I was about 13 I have had these episodes where I feel like I am awake, but of course can’t move, just like all the other stories, no matter how hard I try to move or scream nothing works. Coming from a Christian background of course it was labeled evil spirits, and to be honest I would as an adult still put it into that category, cause if it’s scary it’s bad and if it of good then its not meant to be scary…right!!! Anyway, it happens occasionally (a few times a year), and even though I am married and sleep with my husband, almost entwined at night, I can’t move to wake him to get him to help me……mind you he snores so loud he wouldn’t hear anyway!!However 3 times in a row over the last 24 hours it has happened to me – the first time I could feel someones hands on me, moving up my legs, touching bits, which admittedly felt good (I thought it was my husband, so wasn’t too stressed), but then when I tried to reach down and move his hand, as I was too tired for any fun, I couldn’t move. Then I heard my husband snoring and realised, shit here we go again. This is the first time it has been sexual, normally it’s a feeling of an evil presence and a crushing feeling on my chest and can’t breathe etc.Anwyay, I tried moving, screaming, nothing was coming out of my mouth, but then I must have made just enough noise for my husband to wake, and he said, “Kylie, was that you”, cause he reckoned it sounded like a ghost going, whoooo…I then woke and told him what happened – he knows this shit happens sometimes. We just watched tv in bed for about 2 hours before I feel asleep again.But, last night was different. This time whatever it was, actually managed to have sex with me and I could hear faint laughing like it was coming from the other side of the room. Again couldn’t wake, had to suffer, but there was no pressure on my chest like normal, just couldn’t move. When I finally awoke, I grabbed my husband and had
a good cry, and we slept with the light on, figuring it has never happened in the dark.And then again at about 5am I was lying on my side, facing in towards my husband and I felt someone/something come and lay down beside me and spoon me and nussle my neck – wasn’t a bad thing, but again realised it wasn’t my husband as he was again snoring, but I couldn’t move to wake him. Again, I heard a faint laugh and slight scratching at my neck and then it was gone. Needless to say I am exhausted, scared to go to sleep, but after reading about this sleep paralysis, it kinda makes sense, but why the evil presence, and why the sex – does anyone think it’s just because it’s whatever is going through one’s mind at the time – (mind you I wasn’t consciously thinking of sex at all). Just weird shit – scary, and kinda concerned if it’s a spirit wanting to just have a good time – but why me, nothing fancy, married 4 kids, surely there’s got to be better options out there – unless of course I am determined to be vunerable, weak, blah, blah, blah. Just make it stop for good – please………….

Answer: Hey Kylie, Thanks for sharing your story. The sexual and evil themes sleep paralysis episodes often take is really mysterious, but I’ve come to a mostly unsatisfying hypothesis. I’ll give you the gist of it in case it’s insightful.SP brings out fearful projections perhaps because of the intense activation of the brain, including the amygdala (in charge of emotions) associated with REM sleep. SP is fundamentally tied to REM sleep, the stage of sleep associated with dreaming. Combine unusual feelings of paralysis (associated with helplessness) with dreaming and maybe we have a tendency to project a nightmare into our environment. This is super speculative, but the tie with sexuality is more wholesome.REM sleep is a sexually charged period of the night. Men naturally get penile erections and women experience processes related to clitoral stimulation. This happens every night during normal REM. Combine that with wakefulness and fear-generating paralysis, and the results can be truly freaky and genuinely scary.With where my knowledge is right now, that’s my best explanation. It may not be satisfying, but feel free to tell me what you think.Also, in terms of making your sleep paralysis stop, this is the best treatment suggesting book I’ve come across.

Thanks for your question and good luck,
Kevin